EDINBURG – A new customs facility at the South Texas International Airport will now allow for a faster way to enter the United States.
The new 4,500-square-foot facility will be staffed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. At the moment hours of operation are from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. But if traffic increases a second shift will open to help facilitate more passengers.
The building cost $1.3 million of which the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation contributed $1 million.
Because the South Texas International Airport is not the first airport available for landing in the United States from Mexico or other countries south a preflight exemption is required to land. The exemption can be found on CBP's website.
Once in the facility the process is quick and takes up to about five minutes to be processed.
Executive director for the Edinburg EDC Gus Garcia said the issue is not what study has been done to justify a building at the cost because the data is there to back the spending.
“We can't utilize our airport and growth unless we have this facility,” he said. “It's more of a need; it's almost as if you need a runway and a customs facility to be able to accept that traffic.”